Allen Bates

(July 15, 1845-November 28, 1927)


This page is devoted to my great-great-grandfather, Allen BATES. Allen was the son of John BATES (Feb. 5, 1808- ?) and Mary Ann JACOBS (c. 1811- ?). Allen's grandfather, Alanson BATES, was born c. 1770s in Dudley, Massachusetts, where the family appears to have been for generations. Alanson was a Captain in either the army or navy during the War of 1812. He married a woman named Comfort, who died on May 6, 1814, but not after giving birth to eight children, one of which was John Bates. The other children of Alanson and Comfort were Alanson, Jr. (1798- ?), Jacob (1796- ?), Elhannon W. (1799- ?), Nelson (1801- ?), Sibel (1803- ?), Bathsheba (1804- ?), and Orson (1806- ?). Five months after Comfort's death, Alanson remarried, on September 28, 1814, to Levina BROWN, of Thompson, Connecticut. The couple had four children, Levira (1816- ?), Serepta (1818- ?), Lovan (1823- ?), and Comfort Maria (1825- ?).

John BATES, who became a farmer, went on to marry Mary Ann JACOBS on February 1, 1832 in Dudley. The union of John and Mary produced ten children, Jesse (1833- ?), Generva or Genetta (1835- ?), Martha (1836- ?), Albert (1838- ?), John, Jr. (1840- ?), Frances (1843- ?), Sarah Ann (1847-1928), Benjamin (1849- ?), and, of course, Allen.

Nothing more is known of Allen BATES' younger years until October 27, 1864, when he enlisted in Company F, 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Union Volunteers. According to records in the National Archives, Allen was reported AWOL (Absent Without Leave) on November 13, 1864, however, he was in a hospital at the time, suffering from "rheumatism and inflammation of the lungs", presumably brought on by exposure to the smoke of battle at Petersburg, where Allen is reputed to have fought. While in the hospital, he paid a physician to deliver a note to his commanding officer, explaining his whereabouts and condition. However, somehow, the note was never delivered, and subsequently, Allen was charged with desertion, the penalty for which was death. Fortunately, on April 10th of 1864, Allen was found innocent by a hearing. His health still poor, he was prematurely discharged on April 28, 1865.

Allen's sister, Mary BATES, married a man named HILL, in Webster, Massachusetts, and on September 22, 1864, Allen's sister, Sarah Ann BATES, married Edwin W. Healy in Webster. The Healys moved to Houston County, Minnesota in the spring of 1868, and to Monroe Township, in Lyon County (1.5 miles south of Tracy) in 1871, making Sarah the first American-born white woman in Monroe Township.

On September 30, 1866, Allen was married to Mary C. WHEELOCK, of Mendon, Massachusetts in a ceremony held at Dudley. The couple moved to Ames, Iowa for about eight months, where Allen worked at a depot of the C & NW Railroad.

In 1868, Mary gave birth to the first of two daughters, Esther. About this time, prior to 1870, the family moved back to Massachusetts, where Allen worked in a shoe factory in Webster, not far from Dudley. On April 4, 1870, when the couple's second child, Clara Isabel was born, they were living in Dudley again.

Five years later, the family moved to Lyon County, Minnesota. At some point thereafter, they moved back to Massachusetts, where Allen worked in a sewing machine factory in Orange. In 1880, the family moved again, back to Minnesota, settling in the town of Tracy, in Lyon County, where Allen made a living selling firewood, for a time. Apparently, he did well, as in 1887, he opened a restaurant and store on Front Street, in downtown Tracy, at the age of 42.

Tragedy struck on or about December 3, 1891, when a great fire consumed 39 buildings within a one-block area of downtown Tracy, including Allen's store. He rebuilt, though, and later sold the store in 1904, retiring at the age of 59.

Clara BATES, the youngest daughter, was married to Orvin James ("O. J.") REA on May 19th, 1888 in Tracy. The couple had six children, Nona (1890-1989), Elgin (? -1918), Doris (1895-1945), Noel Bates (1900-1974), Lois (? - ?), and Leon (1905-1933).

In 1893, Allen BATES was elected as an alderman to the Second Ward of the newly incorporated City of Tracy, along with his son-in-law, O. J. REA, who had been elected as an alderman to the First Ward.

On Friday, October 25, 1923 yet another tragedy struck the BATES family when Mary died at age 72. After retiring, Allen continued to live in Tracy, where, on November 28, 1927, he died at the age of 82.


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